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Out With the Old: This photo shows the demolition of the Santa Cruz Library on Sept. 12, 1966. This great Santa Cruz City Library was opened April 14, 1904. Andrew Carnegie donated $15,000 for it, and according to legend, Sam Leask got him to up the ante by $5,000. This classic-looking building was designed by W.H. Weeks and located almost exactly where our present library is. By the looks of it, I don't think anybody designed our present library.

Bruce Bratton

DOWNTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD CANDIDATE NIGHT. No endorsements were made, and there weren't many people there who weren't connected with the campaign, but we did learn some things. Arnie Leff does support the Downtown Plaza at the corner of Pacific and Church streets. We learned that bus driver Bonnie Morr is fed up with the present City Council and wants to make it more responsive--and she wants to widen Highway 17 with three lanes each way and widen Highway 1 too. Every single candidate was in favor of more affordable housing downtown and no new buildings allowed without a mix of retail and housing. Only Mark Primack was in favor of district elections that night, because Michael Hernandez was home sick. If I hear phrases like "needs to be looked into," "enforce existing laws," "demands serious study," "a lot we can do," "work with the community," "more involved with government," "need to make difficult decisions," "I don't have the answer but I'll definitely look into it," "tackle problems citywide" and "I'm someone who will listen" just one more time, then I'm going to study the problem, take definite action and make a difference in this community that deserves better.

CINEMA SIMPLIFIED. I completely forgot to tell you about Solomon and Gaenor, an excellent "ultimately tragic story of the love between a Welsh girl and a Jewish boy," as the production notes say. It's set in Wales around 1911 and gets awfully dark and heavy, but it's good. Almost Famous is almost fantastic, but it's just sort of "interesting." It's about mid-'70's rock, and even Frances McDormond can't bring this film to life. The Original Kings of Comedy stars four top African American urban comics in live performance. You can see and hear more of what they do without all the cleaned-up editing you get weekend nights on cable--and they are funny, very funny. You have to go to Watsonville's Fox Theatre to see it, but once you get there you can sit and enjoy their plaza right in the heart of downtown. Best of Show is one of the funniest comedies I've seen in months. It's a David Byrne-type pseudo-documentary--don't miss it. Urban Legends: Final Cut probably has an ending, but I had to go someplace else instead.

NAACP AND LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS TONIGHT! You can hear all the City Council candidates tonight at the London Nelson Community Center. (For you newcomers, you need to know that his name was London Nelson, and I'm just trying to straighten out the record and give him some respect.) There won't be any endorsements from either group, but both the NAACP and the League of Women Voters are encouraging all ethnic, religious and cultural-diversity groups to attend and view the process and hear the candidates. There's little disagreement that our community is changing rapidly and needs more representatives from our many cultures. Having more meetings like this is a way to begin. It starts at 7pm, and there'll be a question-and-answer session.

CHINATOWN PHOTOS AND GEORGE LEE. If you like the historic photos at the top of this column, and if you want to know more about the history of Santa Cruz and one of its most amazing citizens, go see the current exhibit of George Lee's photographs and memorabilia. It's on the third floor of the Museum of Art and History, and you know where that is, right?

DEMOCRATIC WOMEN'S CLUB PROXY VOTES. The Democratic Women's Club held a City Council candidate-sponsoring forum last Wednesday. As a service to their members who are physically unable to attend and vote, they allow proxy votes. This time, out of a total 153 votes cast, an amazing 73 proxy votes were brought in. What happened, according to some irate members I talked to, was that board members Carol Fuller, Rachel Haskell and Karen Darling--along with Mike Rotkin and Sheila Stuart--called members saying, in essense, "We will come by and pick up your proxy vote or bring you one, only if you vote for Scott Kennedy, Michael Hernandez, Mark Primack and for district elections. According to the people who spoke to me, all of those callers mentioned Kennedy, some didn't mention the other two, and some didn't mention district elections, but they were all covered and no other candidates were mentioned in these calls. It wasn't technically illegal, but it sure was disturbing to many of the DWC officers and members when they found out about those calls. In spite of those proxy Kennedy calls, Emily Reilly won with 90 votes, Kennedy totaled 87 and Ed Porter got 80--and the three were endorsed. The executive board of the DWC has met to figure out how to prevent such a situation in the future. It's an example of the importance of the Nov. 7 election to the future of the government of the city of Santa Cruz. Wait until the People's Democratic Club meeting Thursday (Sept. 28) at 7pm at London Nelson Center. The PDC only endorses registered Democrats, and they don't allow proxies, so the very live audience will determine the endorsements.

MORE DARNED POLITICAL RUMORS. Inside gossip has it that former Santa Cruz County Supervisor and state Senator Henry Mello will come out soon supporting Kate Canlis. Henry's made some strange calls in the past, so it isn't too big a surprise when you consider that it might have been former District Attorney Peter Chang who got Henry to do it. Peter was DA when Henry was a supervisor, back in the late '60s.

SECRET EVENTS. There are many cultural events and performances going on up at UCSC that we never hear about (due sometimes to poor publicity). Some of the most exciting events I've ever attended there are produced by Kathy Foley. She tells me to watch for The Mandalay Marionettes Burmese puppets with music. They'll be in the Porter Dining Hall on Oct. 26 at 8pm. The Ramayana Dance drama with UCSC students happens in November; and on Dec. 2, the Odissi Dance Troupe (the sisters who danced for Madonna's album) will be there. Keep a close eye out for details; Kathy stages many surprises each year.

EMILY REILLY FOR CITY COUNCIL. I've been to three Emily Reilly campaign parties, and of all the council candidates she has, I think, by far the broadest base of support. It ranges from Randall Grahm, Dee Vogel, Michael Vasquez, Mike Rotkin and Michael Schmidt to Keith Sugar, Mardi Wormhoudt, Jane Weed, Debbie Bulger, John Laird, Ed Porter, Dick Doubrava, Joe and Sara Bunnett, George Ow, Tim Fitzmaurice, Mathilde Rand, Ralph Meyberg, Celia and Peter Scott and others to be mentioned later. I know I mixed up the leanings of involved folks, but that's not all bad, is it?

CABLE CRASH COURSE. Just in case, you're a samurai film fan or love the Lone Wolf and Cub series, you should know that the International Channel (ATT channel 69) is doing a samurai festival Friday and Saturday nights at 10pm for about the next six weeks. Lone Wolf and Cub (or Ogami Itto, the outlawed assassin who pushes his 3-year-old son, Daigoro, in a wooden baby cart) is absolutely incredible. The channel has also been showing Toshiro Mifune's Red Lion and other near-classics. So far, they haven't run any of Zatochi, the blind masseuse series that must be nearly 25 episodes spread over that many years, but I'll let you know if they do.

Bruce critiques films every other Thursday on KUSP (88.9FM) at 12:50pm. Reach Bruce at [email protected] or call 457.5814, ext. 400.

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From the September 27-October 4, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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